Culture, Heritage and Society

UNESCO describes culture "as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group. It encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs."

At the ULB, a large number of researchers are exploring these multiple breeding grounds of mankind, with interest focused on such top-notch archaeological sites as Apamea in Syria, the Bibracte oppidum in France, the Theban necropolis in Egypt or the Pachacamac site in Peru. Historians, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists and linguists are studying the history of ideas, customs and societies, from antiquity to the present day. In addition to the West, the ULB is actively developing research into African and Asian civilisations.

ULB has at its disposal outstanding expertise in the history of religions and secularism, gained through a multidisciplinary approach. In the field of philosophy, much of ULB research focuses on epistemological, bioethical and political dimensions. The arts - literature, visual arts, music, theatre arts, film, cartoons - are at the heart of a number of ULB research projects, focusing in particular on the European area and the specific features of Belgium, the Mediterranean and North America. In the field of languages (theoretical and applied linguistics, syntax and semantics, rhetoric and argumentation, etc.), various research models are looking at both plain language and more specific language forms.

Last but not least, in terms of its local roots, the ULB is acknowledged for its research focus on Brussels and the city's history, heritage and identity.

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP

Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)

  • François De Callataÿ, Francqui Prize 2007 (ancient history)

  • Isabelle Stengers, grand prix de philosophie de l'Académie française 1993; FNRS quinquennial prize 2006-10

  • Marc Wilmet, Francqui Prize 1986 (linguistics)